Google Nexus 5: First impressions

We’ve been waiting patiently, counting the days till the ‘Coming Soon’ button on the Play Store changes to ‘Buy Now’ as India

We’ve been waiting patiently, counting the days till the ‘Coming Soon’ button on the Play Store changes to ‘Buy Now’ as India awaits the arrival of the one of the biggest launches of 2013. Luckily, we managed to get our grubby little paws on a white Nexus 5, 32GB ahead of the official launch and got straight to work. Let’s take a closer look at how Google continues to evolve the best Android phone, year after year.

Google Nexus 5: First impressions

the Google Nexus 5


This is the second Nexus handset to be manufactured by LG and is a big departure from the Nexus 4. Gone are the fragile glass back and tacky chrome accents. Instead, we have a beautiful matt-finished back panel and 5-inches of pure IPS goodness. The phone is only slightly broader and taller than the Nexus 4 and thanks to the near-invisible bezel; you get a larger display in a similar sized chassis. In fact, the Nexus 5 is lighter and slimmer than its predecessor. The body is made up entirely of plastic/polycarbonate but it doesn’t feel cheap in any sense of the word. Some would argue that it’s a little too bland and simplistic but quite frankly, we prefer it that way. You also have to remember that the Nexus-series of phones may be flagship Google phones but in the grand scheme of things, they are in fact mid-range devices and for that the Nexus 5 looks the part.

There’s nothing mid-range about the specifications however. Google packs in optimum hardware that will easily run their new and subsequent versions of Android for the next two years with ease. In this case, we have Qualcomm’s top of the line Snapdragon 800 SoC. This quad-core chipsets chugs along at 2.3GHZ when needed and is accompanied by 2GB of RAM. You also get all of the latest connectivity goodies like Wi-Fi ‘ac’, NFC, LTE, MHL, GLONASS and even wireless charging.

The Google Nexus 5 is also the first phone to ship with the latest flavour of Android which is 4.4 KitKat. Google continues to keep the fresh look of their new OS by making subtle cosmetic changes and in KitKat, we’ve moved away from the dark black and blue theme to a more holo theme with lots of whites. The larger icon set feels nice and is a lot easier to use on such a high-res display. We’ve quickly run through some of the new features of KitKat in the video so be sure to watch that. The phone does heat up pretty quickly after using the camera for a bit and we noticed it eats up quite a bit of battery too.
We also played around with the camera a bit and though it was a pretty decent shooter for the price. There have been a lot of negative comments around web about the Nexus 5’s imaging capabilities and to be honest, you get what you pay for. It’s not fair to compare this with the iPhone 5 or the Galaxy S4 as these device cost a lot more. While we will be testing the camera out over the coming weeks, we will say that it’s decent given the price the phone is retailing at.


The HDR+ mode in action




The Nexus 5 loves macros


The Nexus 5 should be hitting retail stores by the end of November and you can also grab it off the Google Play Store. The 16GB version is priced at Rs 28,999 while the 32GB version is priced at 32,999. This is an excellent price considering the overall hardware and software package and will be the phone to get once it goes on sale. It’s also an excellent value proposition as you’re guaranteed the latest Android updates for the next two years. We’ll be bringing you loads more stuff on the Nexus 5 so stay tuned.